I promised you a recipe that used the pickled onions I posted earlier in the week and here it is. The onions add the perfect bite and contrast to the delicate flavors of the rest of the ingredients. There is nothing like the first vegetables of spring. Bright, fresh and slightly fragile they just scream to be treated gently and respectfully. This salad is a tribute to all those lovely veggies that are just now showing up at your local farmers market. Here in Portland the spring comes a little later than most other places and it’s a sign that we are almost through our bad weather. This salad highlights all my favorites, fresh peas, asparagus, radishes and tender baby lettuces. I picked a variety of lettuces from my garden so you can use whatever you prefer.
If you are considering growing a few vegetables in your garden this year consider starting with a few varieties of lettuce. They grow quickly, are prolific and generally disease free. If you have small children radishes are super gratifying since they have such a short growing cycle and can be planted frequently throughout the season. It’s so gratifying to be able to create a meal when you have had a hand in growing part of it.
A Simple Spring Salad
Makes 2 servings
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 3/4 cup fresh shelled peas
- 5-8 stalks of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 4-5 pickled red onions, cut in half
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare a water bath by combining a small bowl of water with a handful of ice cubes. Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add peas to the water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for another minute. Drain in a colander and transfer to the water bath. Let cool and then drain.
In a large bowl combine the greens, peas, asparagus, radishes, pickled onions and mint. Season with salt and pepper and then sprinkle with the vinegar and olive oil. Toss lightly to combine.